Anchor Cottage Freshwater Decor Decorating Store

We offer decorating services in the Leelanau Peninsula. Our studio has fabrics, bedding samples and rug swatches. We offer lamp repair, shades, harps and finials with access to over 1,000 lamps. Furniture painting and repair. Wall paper books are available. Reach out to us at

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Two Weeks In To It!

Here she is a, size 12 AA, shoe box of a space!! Five feet wide and nineteen feet long with ten foot ceilings!

The push and pull of making space. 

The furthest back corner needed some light. 

The ceiling needed some scale of depth. 

A place to sit and think. 

I still have bedding swatches to hang and vintage textiles to fold over the ladder. Wall paper books to (hang, that's a novel idea!) I was going to stack them but now I will pile my "lines" books on shelves instead. I have the hooks packed up somewhere!! Where??? That's been the question all week, where did I put the stapler...measuring tape and printer paper when I moved? 

And then, Hallelujah! The bright side appeared, the Fed Ex driver showed up at my door with packages for Anchor Cottage Freshwater Decor! 

Dash and Albert, new for 2019, rug swatches are here! This pile is especially fresh! They will be trickling in, as they become available, all of February and March.

 I have been culling all of my fabric swatches, before I hang them up, to make sure they are currant. Same with the rug swatches and bedding swatches.

So here I am! "Snug as a bug in a rug!" 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Using The Camera

To learn the new camera I need to practice taking photos. There are so many aspects to shooting a still life, for instance. That it stands still is a plus! 

Getting up close and using the Macro lens while being aware of the light source and being on eye level to capture the object as you want it to be seen. 

Sometimes the photo is more interesting if there are disparities within the frame of the composition. 

Filtering the light to bring out the bright and dark areas that are in sharp contrast to each other. 

To practice shooting the horizon line, the point is practicing, so when you swing your camera up to your eye that you automatically line up the horizontal line.   

These photos were culled from a larger selection of practice photos. It is always rewarding to get one right! 

This photo is shot from an angle, with a Macro lens, ambient lighting from behind my right shoulder. Careful not to cast shadows. 

Focus, hold your breath, press plunger and don't move! See the clarity of the different shades of green!  


Now I am showing off! My windowsill Amaryllis are blossoming beautifully. Like girls dancing with head pieces of sheer petals, letting the light filter through.   

Contrast is an issue to be worked out. It could be a matter of taste in how you want your composition lighted. 

The true color against a bright background. Notice the difference?

Lighting is the largest thought process a photographer can make. The film speed, natural light vs flash for fill, shadows and dark corners are tricky components to have to think about when taking a picture.

The only way to learn your camera is using it consistently. Even if it means standing in the middle of your home, making digital tweaks, compensating for the lighting variances over and over again with the same still life shots! That is called practice.

I think back when I used a light meter and set the shutter speed manually. Bracketed the shots for under and over exposures. Learning all the nuances of a "digital" camera is time consuming for me. I'm not sure I have the digital brain for this! Only time will tell and with a lot of practice.   

Saturday, January 12, 2019

January Procrastination

blue gingham charm .. X ღɱɧღ ||
Three chores hang heavy on my mind. Taxes, cleaning and rearranging my main floor living area and setting up the decorating studio.

Lalah Delia
Instead, here I sit, in front of my computer, perusing my pinterest files. "Whiling away the hours". 

Libby Cameron
Trying to be inspired in one direction or the other. It may be easier to go back to bed!

Such a sweet, gentle home. Love the colors, shape, shutters, stonework- all of it.
Barbara Garfield
This little house has been a favorite of mine since Traditional Home magazine featured it in 1999.

Cameron Kimber

I especially like the plants, corralled, in the woven basket on the table. Something about the greenery in the natural wicker calls to me. Maybe that is where I will start the day, driving to the nursery and buying fresh foliage! 

Think I will have another cup of coffee instead!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Glazed Over First Week Of January

I am officially retired from retail. So I make sketchy lists of what I plan to do day by day. In January you need to have plan B and even plan C depending on the winter weather.  

This morning I had plans to meet a friend at Strong Heart for our two mile walk. But all the schools are closed and the driveway is a sheet of ice. 

What is plan B? 

Plan B is take some photos and post a blog.

The Amaryllis are jamming. 

Planted the bulbs in mid November. Four of the bulbs are new and two of the bulbs are on their third season! 

Benny won't go outside to do his duty. The wind is blowing and it is very slick outside the front door. He ate some breakfast and turned around and went right back to bed. 

Perfect temperature for freezing rain, between the wind and the ice everything has a coating.

Looking to the east, at the little shed in the back, the window is caked over with a frozen mixture of rain and ice. 

The figure in this leaded glass window looks like an icon for the Ice Queen. 

All the whirligigs are frozen in mid-flight. 

Husband is working on his plan B as well. His truck is completely iced over and so is the driveway. Fortunately he has work to do in the garage painting shutters. "Winter work" when you are stuck in the Holler. 

I have plan C all lined up. 

Sewing new pillows and cushion covers for the decorating studio. I am using the large, navy and white checks, trimmed in Kelly green linen to freshen up the curtains that I already have.

There you have it! What some of us northerners do on an icy day!

Friday, January 4, 2019

What To Do Today?

So last week we started setting up the decorating studio. Steve painted the door to the upstairs "Dancing Green", I like it pretty well. He painted the walls "Dover White" which is a very effervescence white. 

He then moved on to hang the draperies that I had made, for the shop's french doors, a while back. I had to laugh, it took him three tries to hang the rod because every time we measured a curtain panel it was a different length. There are four panels, altogether, and they measure 84" to 90" long! The different lengths are because I cut these curtains on a six foot table and really had no scale to work with but the measuring tape and the weight of the fabric pulling it taut on one end. We never noticed the length difference because the panels were pooled on the floor! Even the linings differ in length. 

Oh well, we moved on, will get the pinking shears out shortly! I rolled out Dash and Albert Diamond Sprout polypropylene rugs on the floor. I am aiming for a garden room feel for the studio. When you are on a budget and you have to use what is available, instead of putting it together from scratch, you need some sort of a theme to help pull it together. 

Now to put the swatch racks in place. Very important because they are the main tool for starting custom decorating work. They have to be functional and look good at the same time. Not crazy about the titty pink lamp color. I like the cement floor lamp from the eighties, it gives the space some architectural form. 

I have brought down two woven chairs, from the house, into the space and am thinking of making chair seats and decorative pillows out of a large navy and white check to crisp up the look. So I walked away from this project for a week and today I am going up to hang swatches so I can figure out how much room I will have available to hang shelving for wallpaper books and lamp shades. Sometimes it looks better when you wait before you see it again, because being right in your face it starts to look too piecemeal. So, off to work! I will keep you posted.  


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